We have continued to serve breakfast to anyone in need every single day in 2020. While we cannot gather indoors, our volunteers and guests have still found remarkable ways to live in community this summer and fall. Our volunteers have been extremely consistent and they have gotten to know our guests in ways that just cannot happen under normal circumstances. We have been able to celebrate our guests returning to restaurant jobs and finding permanent housing prior to the weather turning cold. We were able to wish the Breakfast Program a happy 38th birthday together in August with pop-tarts and special cards in each breakfast bag. Most importantly, we have been able to maintain the consistency that everyone has craved in 2020.
Heading into the winter, breakfast will continue to be served as a carry-out meal until it is safe to gather in our dining hall again. We have installed an infrared heater outside the doors and we are working with the shelter association to ensure everyone’s needs are met this winter. This is not the way we would choose to head into the winter this year, but as always we will open our doors with hot coffee and smiles for all.
The mission statement for The Breakfast Program at St. Andrew’s reads, “We are a community providing a daily hot breakfast and welcoming space to anyone who is in need. We do this to nourish and strengthen all those who come through our doors.” Continuing on this mission in the time of COVID-19 has not been an easy task, and our guests no longer walk through our doors, but the heart of the mission: breakfast and community still stands.
We currently distribute a hot breakfast from our front doors and many of our guests stay outside to eat and socialize (while observing social distancing). We are still providing more than a meal, this is a place to see friendly faces, chat with volunteers and other guests, and most importantly a place to feel loved and seen.
Our volunteers who are running our daily distribution have been the absolute backbone of this program. In order to be on a distribution team you must be under 60 with no pre-existing health conditions and you must have another member of your household willing to volunteer with you. Each day of the week a household team of 2-3 people comes in and prepares and distributes all of the food. This system is allowing our volunteers to work in the kitchen without observing social distancing requirements, but it means that our volunteers have lost their volunteer community. The fact that these teams continue to come in so tirelessly and selflessly means the world to both me and the breakfast guests.
This system is not without significant cost, carry out containers, granola bars, individual butter packets, these items add up. We are blessed to have many generous supporters keeping us going during this time. If you feel moved to donate more information is on the donate page of our website.
Because of all of this, breakfast continues to be served, as it has been every day since 1982. Thank you to everyone who continues to support the program through sharing our Facebook page, donations, and word of mouth. Without you we could not serve the way we do.
Effective Tuesday March 17, 2020 breakfast will move to a carry out model for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. This decision was not made lightly, but after much conversation we decided this was in the best interest of both our volunteers and guests. We will still be serving a hot meal including oatmeal, fruit, hard boiled eggs, juice, cereal bars, and coffee. All of these items will be packaged by a small team of volunteers each morning for distribution to anyone in need. We will also make our restroom and hand washing facilities available to guests during this time.
In addition to this change we are strongly recommending that any volunteers in high risk categories do not volunteer at breakfast at this time. We will miss you, but we want you to stay healthy. Volunteers who have traveled in the previous fourteen days or show any signs of illness should also stay home.
On Feb. 15, Grammy winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist, chart-topping gospel, soul and R&B star and civil rights icon Mavis Staples is traveling to Ann Arbor to help raise money for The Breakfast at St. Andrew’s. The show is made possible with the generous support of General Motors, The Bank of Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, Les Stanford Chevrolet-Cadillac, Karen Moeller Design, Old National Bank, Ann Arbor State Bank/Level One and Weber’s Inn.
Tickets Still Available!
Purchase your tickets for this Feburary 15 Michigan Theater event through Ticketmaster.
In August The Breakfast at St. Andrew’s celebrated 36 years of serving a free meal to anyone in need every single day. 36 years is quite a feat, our volunteers have worked in blizzards, ice, extreme heat, power outages, and so much more. This accomplishment is not possible without the dedication of every single person who has ever volunteered for or donated to this program.
This year we celebrated simply by providing mini cupcakes and birthday napkins to our guests at breakfast. Our volunteers carried on as they do any other day. In a way this simple dedication and the act of showing up is the thing that most impresses me about this program. It is made possible by ordinary people who just show up for one another.
Thank you all for your efforts this year and every year. May we continue to open our doors until the day that no one is in need.
As we have now entered the holiday season I would like to share a poem that was left at breakfast several years ago by a guest. It is simply a reminder of why we do what we do. Enjoy.
Each day without fail you have provided a table
Each day without fail through rainstorm, blizzard, heat, cold
Each day without fail food and fellowship
An expression of the love of God
Ask and you shall receive
Each day without fail
Because of circumstance some of us sometimes have our faith in others challenged.
With each cup of coffee you awaken something inside
With each bowl of oatmeal you feed the hunger for compassion within
The apples and oranges, fruits of your kindness for all to share
Each day without fail
St. Andrew’s is morning sanctuary from criticism and despair,
an even greater blessing
A good way to begin each day without fail
Thank you, you remind me of something Jesus said:
“What you do unto the Least of mine, you do unto me.”